"Let Mr. Solar Pay Your Utility Bill!"
Learn everything about solar energy from an expert who is a master teacher. Watch him explain the most complex terms and concepts using easy to understand words and examples:
- Easily understand technical terms that you MUST master to make the right decisions.
- Learn to see through the sales talk to the truth that lies behind it.
- Get the latest tips on how to build, design or choose your own systems.
- What are the "numbers"... really. Is it worth it?
- Are there safety issues with these devices?
Our friend the sun....
The sun gives off more energy than can be imagined.
Well, if I told you that the world's oceans, land mass and atmosphere absorbed 3,850,000 exajoules a year, that wouldn't mean much to you. What it does mean is that the sun's power reaches us in enough concentration to burn our skin in the warmer climates but, at other times, doesn't deliver enough heat to keep the same skin from freezing solid in colder climates in winter.
It does, however, deliver vast amounts of power which is stored in what we experience as light and wind. Both of these are loaded with hidden energy. Man (and woman:-) have devised various kinds of Solar Generators to harness this energy and turn it into electricity.
The term "Solar Generator"...
refers to any device, usually a unit small enough for one person to carry. This is the type of thing you might want to bring to the beach or the campground. They have little panels of photovoltaic cells that you expose to sunlight.
Keep in mind when you are contemplating buying one that they are not stand alone. What this means is that you don't just "plug and play". You will need a battery, one as large as the one in your car. If there are kids around, batteries can be dangerous.
The basic power generator is alright if you want to power your cell phone or battery operated CD player. If you want to use a device like a small tv or plug-in power drill, however, you will need something called an inverter.
What this does is change the direct current from your device's storage battery into alternating current which is what your device sucks on when plugged into the wall at home.
In some circles, an Inverter is also called a Generator Inverter
The information package that you can view explains it all in great detail along with anything else you ever wanted to know about going "green" with electricity.
Security is another great reason to harvest the sun's power...
Crime is rampant and with the economy going into the toilet, it will only get worse. (Hey, drug dealers have to eat too) Solar lighting is a great way to protect yourself without being held hostage by the power company. Solar Lights are inexpensive, reliable, cost nothing to operate and, (no pun intended), can be a real life saver.
Energy is so expensive that anything you can do to increase the thermal efficiency of your home is welcome.
One such device is a Solar Attic Fan. This little gem moves cooler air into your attic which helps in keeping the house more comfortable without your air conditioner working up a sweat.
Once installed, it is trouble free and runs forever being powered by
Solar Energy Panels.....
act as Solar Collectors. What they do is act like a funnel that captures small amounts of Solar Energy over a relatively large area and turn it into electricity. Leaves on plants do the same but they turn light into carbohydrates and stuff.
The light collectors we are interested in, however, give off electrons, a stream of which is called an electric current.
This is the stuff we are interested in.
photocells produce a direct current like a battery.
generators, by nature, produce >only alternating current which runs back and forth all the time just like the power in your house wall outlet.
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"Solar Charger and Solar Battery Charger.....
These two terms can be misleading. They both refer to the same thing. A charger by itself serves no useful purpose. It needs a battery to charge or some device to drive. You might say that it needs a load to supply or it might as well stay in the box. The charger can be run off a
This whole area of expertise is so huge that I cannot but give a few glimpses here. Some people, not knowing any better, make references to different technologies and take someone else's word for it that what they are saying is true.
One good example of about 20 years ago was something called the "Friction Furnace". A large electric motor moved two metal drums that were very close to each other and filled with oil. This movement caused friction in the oil which caused heat.
The claim to fame of these gadgets was that you got more power out than went in.
"The Only Free Cheese Is In The Trap." -unknown
Doesn't work that way. "There is no free lunch" in nature.
It is called the first Law of Thermodynamics. You ALWAYS get less power out than you put in, always.
We had neighbors who sold these things. Nice, well-meaning people who couldn't see their way through the power factor calculations. A missed decimal here and there made it look like you put in $5 of electrical power and got $6 of heat out. Doesn't work that way.
Another such misleading attempt at "going green" on the cheap is the cars that "run on water". They put an electric current through a small amount of water. It breaks down into hydrogen and oxygen and they reburn it in the engine. Water vapour is the only byproduct!!! This is true. As a matter of fact, the Space Shuttle main engines run like this. The boosters are chemical but the mains are hydrogen/oxygen power plants. They produce water.
Great idea about the car thing but, again, that darned first Law of Thermodynamics rears its ugly head. You can't use up 10 watts of the cars electricity to electrolize a little water and get 15 watts of energy back when the gases reunite in the engine.
BE WARY OF ALL THIS!!
Knowledge is power. (I forget who said that) but it's true.
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